Monday, June 1, 2009

June Beginnings

New toys--a mangle and a braid twister

It has been raining here and I keep reminding myself that in New Mexico we would have welcomed days of steady rain, but still I miss the sun. Mark and I drove to New Hampshire at the end of the week in the pouring rain to pick up an old mangle. This and the braid twister came to me via Edith House. She read that I wanted the braid twister on my blog and ordered one for me (maybe I should have a running wish list on the side bar). I was thrilled--especially since I had ordered one on ebay myself--my first and last attempt to use that site--and what I got was the head from a machine. Completely useless without the handle. I did check back and saw the ad definitely had the complete twister--and I could have lodged a complaint and sent it back. But that didn't make sense since the postage to/from the seller was more than the tool itself. Anyway, when Edith gave me this twister I felt like my story had a surprise happy ending. She keeps the list of looms and other tools for sale for the Vermont Weavers Guild and knew about this mangle for sale, so she put me in touch with the seller. I have been using tencel in my recent work almost exclusively, and seeing how Edith and Trudy Otis finished their tencel scarfs with the mangle enticed me to buy this.

Double Weave Comparison - front

Double Weave Comparison - back
I also finished the warp on my TC-1 and was able to cut off the cloth yesterday. I had forgotten I had woven a comparison weaving in double cloth--but there it was at the beginning of the roll. Because I designed the structures for light lifts, the back of the cloth is almost all warp-faced. Quite a contrast to the front. I wanted the back of my last weavings to show weft floats, so I created weft-backed double weave structures. Even saying that makes my head spin. The day I was making those structures I definitely thought I was having a complete mental melt-down. After awhile, it seemed like all structures were the same--and I still feel that sometimes when I look at my wall of studies--they all are about warp or weft floats--the differences are so minute. I wonder if I am being side-tracked by this level of detail. But then I think "weft-backed double cloth" and something comes alive in me. You can see a detail below of the back of one of the pieces I wove. On the front it has areas of warp-faced white and warp-faced black, and then areas of single wefts working with either the white or the black warps (though I don't think the warps are showing much since the weft floats are doing a good job of hiding them). On one of the weavings I did put an area of the back on the front. I will post images as soon as I finish them. I wove them face-down so the lifts would be lighter than if woven face-up. It is always a thrill to take something off the loom that you are hoping is weaving correctly but you can't see (well, I could have used a mirror) and find out it worked.

back of "weft-backed double weave"

I did weave a small sample of the weft-backed double weave that I can run through the mangle and see what happens. That will have to wait until I get back from Chicago in July. Meanwhile, here is the invitation to the exhibit, Into the Woods, curated by Dian Parker and Laurie Sverdlove, which opens at The Chandler Gallery in Randolph on June 6. The two of them have done so much work investigating artists in Vermont whose work would fit with the theme, compiling what will be an exciting show, and organizing everything to high standards. It is very generous of them to do this. Of course I am thrilled that both Mark and I will have work in the exhibit. The opening is from 4-6 p.m. That's my birthday--I think I will just pretend everyone is there to celebrate with me--celebrate the fact that I am alive and well and can think of things like "weft-backed double weave" which really is something to celebrate.

1 comment:

  1. oh, glad you found a mangle -- I finish all of my work on a mangle, ironing it from wet to dry. Yours is handsome, too!